The Bachmanns' Lifelong Anti-Gay Crusade

Michele Bachmann's husband has strong feelings about gay "barbarians"

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Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann told a Christian congregation in 2006 that she follows the teaching, "The Lord says: Be submissive, wives. You are to be submissive to your husbands." Bachmann's husband, Marcus, describes himself as her "strategist." Bachmann's former chief of staff, Ron Carey, tells The Washington Post's Jason Horowitz that "Philosophically, they are 100 percent aligned." So what Marcus thinks about policy is important. And what Marcus thinks about gay people is very interesting.

Specifically, Horowitz reports, he thinks they're "barbarians" who "need to be educated, need to be disciplined"--and, perhaps most important, can be turned straight. In 2006, the Minneapolis City Pages reported that Marcus Bachmann gave a presentation on "The Truth About the Homosexual Agenda" in which he presented three "ex-gay" people, and that his Christian-oriented mental health clinic attempts to turn gay people straight. Bachmann countered that he wouldn't "have a problem with" a gay patient who wanted to stay gay.

In response, some gay bloggers (and Cher) have been circulating totally unsubstantiated rumors that Marcus Bachmann is gay, as Chicago Pride noted. Queerty's Daniel Villareal highlights the audio clip in which Marcus refers to gays as "barbarians," saying he  has "the ultimate gay voice." And that's why the ad that was featured on The Washington Post's website next to Horowitz's article on the Bachmanns was somewhat amusing:
But on the Fourth of July, Stonewall DFL chair David Joseph DeGrio issued a letter condemning those taunts, telling Jon Collins at the Minnesota Independent, "I don't view saying that someone's gay is a negative thing, but I believe that perceived sexuality was being used as an attack on Marcus Bachmann, and I find it unacceptable to use perceived sexuality as an attack on anybody."
The congresswoman herself reportedly has had an almost cartoonish reaction to gay people:

In 2005, she ran screaming from a bathroom at a constituent forum, claiming that a lesbian had attempted to keep her there against her will. (The woman said she was merely questioning Bachmann about her position on gay marriage.) As a state senator, she was seen crouching behind hedges to observe a gay rights rally. (She has explained that she was checking the turnout.) ...

Scott Dibble, a gay Democratic state senator in Minnesota and former adversary of Michele Bachmann, said that she once prayed over his empty desk--"Praying for me, I assume"--and that she made the argument to him that the furthering of gay rights could result in children being “lured into trying homosexuality out" and that "the reason for high divorce rates in Scandinavian countries was that they offered equality" to gays, he said in an interview.

When asked whether she thinks homosexuality is a choice last month, Michele Bachmann said, "I am not running to be anyone's judge." Maybe she hopes bloggers will return the favor.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.